This looks like a source control issue so I am venturing into the unknown for me as I do not use source control. However, as no one else has come in, any idea is better than none.
In Snippets on my site there are details of files that should never be checked in or out and the files you mention are not listed. Could it be as simple as the required files are not being accessed?
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It is difficult to say what could be going on here without some more information. Try checking out the project to a brand new location. Do all the required files check out? If they do, you've managed to eliminate any source control issue.
BTW is there a reason why your output folder is in source control at all? Could you not just publish to a shared drive?
Just a heads up on the output folder thing. I used to wonder the same thing myself until I finally saw the reasoning.
There are many tech writers that store only the output folder in source control. The reason is simple. When the application developers create the application, they check out of source control and perform the build. By having only the output files, they are only concerned with the help files that will support their application and need to be included in the build.
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Here's some more information to help clarify the picture:
- We have two authors and a central source control system.
- The generated files (e.g., SSL folder, etc.) are not in source control, as they're generated, as needed, in each writer's development environment whenever that writer manually generates and publishes the help.
- We have a build server that communicates with the source control system and uses command line instructions to generate the help system nightly and publish to our help server (this nightly publish is in a development environment; we don't republish outward-facing help every single night).
- We use PushOK plug-in for RoboHelp to allow RH to communcate with our SVN server and automatically check out the files that we need while working on topics. This seems to work acceptably well.
- The nightly build process works perfectly and publishes complete and valid help to the help server
- Writer 1 can manually publish. Even after wiping the entire local project file and "getting latest all" from source control to entirely rebuild the local project directory. This seems to show that source control is providing Writer 1 all the necessary source files to then generate and publish a valid help project.
- Writer 2, however, produces an incomplete project in the SSL folder when generating a help system from what should be the same source files from the source control system. When Writer 2 publishes at this point, the help sysem appears to publish and is browseable, but the server is in an unstable state and can no longer accept any content from anyone until that "area" on the server is deleted and re-created.
- If Writer 1 gives Writer 2 the SSL folder from Writer 1's environment, then Writer 2's publish to the help server is successful, just as if Writer 1 generated and published (which isn't really a surprise, since it's the same SSL folder).
- Running a compare between Writer 1's SSL folder and Writer 2's SSL folder results in the missing files (and others) that I posted about initially.
- If Writer 1 reconfigures his help development environment using Writer 2's source control credentials and then checks out and publishes, the process fails identically to the failure that Writer 2 causes.
From all this we deduce that the source control system is somehow not delivering to Writer 2 the same content that it's delivering to Writer 1. While we can run a compare between Writer 1's project directory and Writer 2's project directory, we're seeing a large number of discrepancies between the two and we're seeking to narrow our focus by backtracking from the missing LNG and STP files that are absent in Writer 2's SSL folder. By understanding what source files are responsible for producing that particular output, it gives us a place to start in investigating the source control behavior.
I appreciate everyone's feedback and assistance. I thought about putting the post in source control initially but decided that even though the issue is with getting different content from our source control, that's not really our pain point, as we have source control resources here in our organization.
To best focus our source control diagnostic efforts, we are hoping to understand which RoboHelp source files are responsible for creating the missing SSL files we've been talking about. By undersatnding that, we can then better direct our efforts at diagnosing what's going on with source control.
So, back to my original question: can anyone identify which specific RoboHelp source files are responsible for generating the LNG and the STP files that end up in the SSL folder?